Northumberland’s schools and academies have been told that, even though their energy is bought through a local authority procurement system, they’re facing a 48 per cent increase in gas and a 26 per cent increase in electricity charges from 1 October.
Northumberland Labour leader Scott Dickinson said: “We simply can’t understand the magnitude of these rises. To be on the receiving end of this type of news is shocking for our schools and academies. It looks like these charges are not capped in the same way as domestic customers’ energy.
“If that’s the case then the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) seems to have singularly failed to protect the organisations it is supposed to be serving.
“It seems to be simply passing these charges on without any thought on the impact.”
Shadow cabinet member for children and young people Julie Foster added: “It seems the best the council can do is suggest they start looking at ways to save energy over the winter. With the best will in the world energy saving schemes take time and money.
“Schools will be faced with tough decisions; heating their schools or paying staff. This is yet another dire situation which has left our schools reeling.”